Matt Holloway and Julianne Applegate, co-chairs of the Amherst Cultural Council, are pleased to announce awarding 65 grants totaling $61,475, for cultural programs in Amherst and nearby towns. Proposals for music and theater events, visual artists, and programs featuring the natural environment were supported.
Grant recipients include Amherst Ballet, Amherst Cinema, The Hitchcock Center, Gallery A3, and the Amherst Business Improvement District’s signage for The Drake performing art space, a commission to local artist and sculptor Kamil Peters. Other projects include Maitreyee Chakraborty’s “East Meets West - Tagore and Dickenson,” Pamela Tillis’ “In the Spirit and the Flesh: The Cultural Legacy of Dr. Frederick C. Tillis,” and Jennifer Bajorek’s “Look and Feel: Senegalese Graffiti Artist Residency and Exhibition.”
Other recipients include two separate Amherst Juneteenth celebrations, funding for this summer’s Odenong Powwow on Amherst Town Common, a virtual dialogue “Shedding Light on the Namesake Amherst,” and the Hilltown Youth Performing Arts Program Summer Workshop. A complete list of awards can be found on the Amherst Cultural Council’s website: https://www.amherstma.gov/1221/Cultural-Council
State Representative Mindy Domb commented, "I cheer the local Amherst Cultural Council members who have allocated Amherst’s very generous funding from the Mass Cultural Council and supported a roster of 65 inspiring arts and cultural programs for our community. I am particularly excited about the ways the local cultural council has dedicated funding to ensure accessibility to programs by specifically funding measures to increase accessibility to arts and culture programs for people living with disabilities. Arts and cultural programs are essential to our individual and collective recovery from the pandemic, and I am grateful to the Council’s efforts to ensure diversity, inclusion and variety in their decisions so that every member of our community can benefit from their important work.”
In addition to awarding the 65 grants, the ACC is also providing funds to grantees to improve the accessibility of various projects through services such as Sign Interpreting (ASL), Musical Interpreting, Website Accessibility Review, Recorded Verbal Description of Visual Art, and CART (real time closed-captioning).
The Amherst Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCC) serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences, and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.
Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a board of municipally appointed volunteers. The members of the Cultural Council are Matt Holloway and Julianne Applegate, co-chairs, Jenny Lind, secretary, Robin Thompson, treasurer, Cole Graber-Mitchell, Arthur Pero, Rachel Wang, Joy Jarme, and Christie Gallagher. Three student members are Nandi Chivende, Sydney Mager, and Leah Neuberger. They are non-voting members of the Council. Cyndi Harbeson, curator of special collections at the Jones Library, is the Council’s liaison to the Town.
Statewide, more than $3.3 million will be distributed by local cultural councils in 2022. Grants will support an enormous range of grass-roots activities: concerts, exhibitions, radio and video productions, field trips for schoolchildren, after-school youth programs, writing workshops, historical preservation efforts, lectures, First Night celebrations, nature and science education programs for families and town festivals. Nearly half of LCC funds support educational activities for young people. For more information on the program, visit https://massculturalcouncil.org. A new grant cycle will begin in early September with a deadline for applications in mid-October.